Although accidents are sometimes unavoidable, looking at how many accidents there were in a specific area during a specific time period and what caused those accidents can help shed light on why these accidents are happening and what could potentially be done to prevent more of the same. On average, a vehicle will seriously injure or kill a New York resident approximately every two hours.
WNYC Mean Streets Data provides critical information about the various types of accidents in New York City boroughs and can be used to put together a complete picture of accidents in the Bronx and New York City as a whole.
Total Deadly Accidents in New York in 2014
Across all New York City boroughs, there were a total of 269 traffic deaths. 37 of those deaths occurred in the Bronx, the lowest percentage of deaths to occur in any New York City borough with the exception of Staten Island. Brooklyn had more than double the fatal traffic accidents in the Bronx with 83 deaths, while Queens had nearly triple with 91 deaths.
Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
With 144 total deaths across all boroughs, pedestrian accidents were the most fatal of all types of traffic accidents, comprising more than half of the total fatalities. The Bronx saw just 17 fatal pedestrian accidents, again the second lowest of any New York City borough. Staten Island saw just 5, while Brooklyn saw 51, Manhattan saw 29, and Queens saw 42. These fatalities were the lowest on record since 1910 in New York City, falling significantly from previous years.
Deadly Traffic Collisions
Drivers are killed much more frequently in traffic accidents than passengers, and the Bronx saw 14 driver deaths in 2014, compared to just 5 passengers. Brooklyn only saw a few more driver deaths than the Bronx, and only one more passenger death. The Manhattan borough saw the second least number of driver deaths with only 8, and also only had one passenger death that year. Staten Island remained the borough where a collision that caused a driver or passenger death was least likely to happen, and saw only 5 driver fatalities and no passenger fatalities. Like the total number of New York City borough accidents and pedestrian accidents, Queens saw the most driver and passenger deaths, with 25 and 13, respectively.
Fatal Bike Accidents
Bike accidents were the least deadly of all types of accidents in all New York City boroughs, with just 20 fatalities across the board. The Bronx saw only one fatal bicycle accident involving a John Doe, and Staten Island had no bicycle accident deaths. Queens again had the highest number of bike accident fatalities with 7 deaths, and the Manhattan and Brooklyn boroughs both saw 6 fatalities due to bicycle collisions.
Of the 269 traffic accident deaths across all New York City boroughs, 208 of them were adults. Queens saw the most adult fatalities with 74 deaths, while the Bronx saw just 29. Brooklyn saw slightly less adult fatalities than Queens with 58 deaths total, and Manhattan saw 39. Staten Island again had the least number of adult traffic deaths in the area with just 8 fatalities.
Child traffic related fatalities were much less prevalent than adult fatalities and only 13 deaths were recorded in 2014, with the ages of the children ranging from 5-17. Staten Island saw just one child fatality due to a traffic accident and the Bronx saw two. Manhattan also saw two, and Queens surprisingly saw only one as well. The highest number of child traffic deaths occurred in Brooklyn, with fatalities in children ranging from ages 5-14.
Calculating Fatalities in Relation to Population Size
While it may appear shocking that there are such significant differences in the number of traffic deaths across New York City boroughs, it is important to note that the number of deaths will inherently be greater in boroughs with higher populations and lower in boroughs with less residents. The 2014 Census recorded a population of 1,438,159 in the Bronx, the second highest to Staten Island, which had a population of just 473,279. Queens had a population of 2,321,580 in 2014, and Brooklyn topped out at 2,621,793 residents. Manhattan was closer to the Bronx in population, with 1,636,268 residents.
Preventing as many traffic deaths as possible is a worthy goal. The city recently introduced the Vision Zero project, a movement that is designed to make the streets safer for drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike with a multi-tiered approach. Not only will there be more enforcement in place for traffic violations, streets will be redesigned with safety in mind, more speed bumps will be added, and more traffic education will be available to the residents of New York City.